MEP Roberta Metsola says Gozitan businesses need EU funding for transport but current regulations impact them negatively.
The MEP explains that at present the EU operates the de minimis aid rule which provides financial aid to businesses that is exempt from being signed off by the Commission provides it is below €200,000.
This rule is also understood to apply to support of €100,000 or less towards road transport.
Metsola says that this support which she frames as being a ‘one size fits all approach’ does not take into account the bureaucratic challenges it has for Gozitan businesses, making it difficult for them to access the funds.
She states that the system needs to be more flexible in order that Gozitan businesses can access these funds to help them break through the double insularity and high costs which they face and to help them compete more fairly.
‘The challenges due to the double insularity of the island are felt across Gozo, with businesses facing a huge bureaucratic process to be able to tap into funds. If we really want to see Gozo as a business hub, we must act and lighten the burden to do business in Gozo,’ Metsola states.
The MEP says that she will be calling on the Maltese government to lobby for Gozo’s ‘special status’ in the upcoming discussions on the EU budget.